What we can Learn from Mister Rogers

Very few children in the United States grew up without seeing at least one of the 912 episodes of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Few people in the entertainment industry lived such a righteous yet humble life as Fred Rogers. His show taught us many things and reassured us through tough times. But what can your digital ministry learn from a neighbor like this man? Here are four ideas to take from the Neighborhood of Make-Believe to our own church communications team.

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Why You Need to Know the Difference Between Benefits and Features

Like a good sermon, the message of your website must relate to your audience. They need to know why your church is right for them. Do this with a mix of benefits and features. Unfortunately, we often confuse them and use them in the wrong context. In this article, I review what benefits and features are. Then I give an example of how to use them on your church’s website.

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Recharge your Empathy to Create Better Experiences

Understanding your users’ needs is the biggest part of creating a good experience. But what happens when you cannot understand their perspective? You lose sight of the real goal. Even worse, you insert your own desires into the process. Solve this by recharging your empathy.
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Finding the Tipping Point for Digital Ministries

The concept of “going viral” is not new to the Internet. Many news stories, videos, and images have all enjoyed their few moments of online fame. Yet how do you do the same for your digital ministries? In this article I will summarize one aspect of how things become popular; the people involved.
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Integrating Storytelling on your Website

Storytelling is the magic that turns facts into emotional connections. It is a powerful tool to convey messages on your digital properties. The church primarily thinks of testimonies when it comes to storytelling. Gathering stories is a great start. But how can you most effectively integrate them into an existing church website? What purpose do those stories have? And how can you get more?
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Make Technology Personal in your Church

Many people dislike the introduction of technology into their church. They may feel that it removes that comfortable, personal touch. Yet I contest there are ways to make a process digital, but still personable. Show how using technology does not mean only working with a machine. By using trained church members, you can help digital interactions. Show how to extend the church experience throughout the week with social media.
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CWS Podcast – Ep. 73: Church Website Donations: Influencing the Outcome

cws-podcast-logoWhen you ask for donations on your church website, it matters as to how much you ask for. By pairing a suggested donation amount with a type of donation, you not only influence how many people give, but how much they finally give. I will explore methods and explain how they can be best utilized.
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CWS Podcast – Ep. 62: Pause for a Cause

cws-podcast-logoTwo years ago when my family visited Disney World I noted a few things that translated to an article, and podcast, for church websites. This episode is about how to help your audience pause at the right spot to notice something on your website. This pause will help them focus on something important, and hopefully cause them to take action.
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CWS Podcast – Ep. 60: Structuring Your Call to Action

cws-podcast-logoWhen creating a call to action such as a form, the order you present your content matters a great deal. If you get your customer emotionally invested with the task they are completing, they are far more likely to complete it. By saving mundane tasks to the end of the process you greatly increase the chance clicks your submit button gets.
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Preventing Burnouts

If you are reading this article, I imagine you diligently work to make the best church website possible. You know the site will only be as good as you (and your team) make it. Yet if you are tired or frustrated, you will not perform well. I will admit that some of these tips do not seem like fun at first glance. I purposely avoided the obvious ideas of spending time with friends and/or family. This list is to re-energize your enthusiasm for promoting your church’s digital mission.
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CWS Podcast – Ep. 26: Always ask WIFM?

cws_podcastWhen discerning the future of your church, many people would suggest asking yourself “What Would Jesus Do?” When designing your webs site, you need to consider it from your user’s perspective. One question they are undoubtedly asking is not WWJD, but WIFM?, or “What’s In It For Me?” Constantly asking this question when reviewing new features of your website ads you in communicating the real value that your church and a Christ-centered life can provide them.
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Harness Natural Instincts for Better Online Reactions

People gravitate toward other people, it is just how we are wired. In a podcast I recently listened to, Susan Weinchenk talked about how to use natural physiological and psychological mechanisms to drive clicks and conversions on your website. I want to reiterate that these are not intended to trick people. We are merely using what we know about our brains to more easily engage with our website visitors. This article will cover three content types, and how you can make them more engaging by harnessing our natural instincts as humans.
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